Sunday, July 28, 2013

On the Homefront: "One Fish, Two Fish, White Fish, Blue Fish" Table

With apologies to Dr. Seuss, I present to you my "one fish, two fish, white fish, blue fish" table!  As I mentioned in a previous post, on our recent trip to Santa Fe I purchased two white bone china tabletop fish sculptures which were being displayed as napkin holders in the store.  I have a fair amount of blue and white table accessories, one of my favorites being a set of Fitz and Floyd Les Fish salad plates, and this seemed to be the appropriate time to do a table using these items.  Since my husband is an avid collector of blue and white Japanese arts and crafts, much of this table décor has an Asian influence as well.  The striped napkins are another recent purchase from Santa Fe.  We found them at The Gallery above Cafe Pasqual's (a great place to eat, by the way -- try the Huevos Motuleños), which was displaying handmade goods by artists attending the International Folk Art Market being held in the city that weekend.  The napkins were made in Thailand and are actually meant to be used as hand towels, but my husband loved them and insisted they would be perfect as napkins (he was right!).

Dark brown wooden bead placemat from Target; dark blue dinner plate from Target years ago; blue and white Fitz and Floyd Les Fish salad plate; white flatware from Target; white coastal design water glass from Big Lots years ago; blue and white striped hand towels as napkins (made in Thailand) from Cafe Pasqual's Gallery; white bone china fish sculpture napkin holder by Yuki Murata at moderngoods from Victoria Price Art & Design; can't recall where I got the blue wine goblet.  Blue and white koi fish table runner is a fabric piece my husband picked up in Japan.

The centerpiece features eight blue and white
fish-shaped chopstick holders from Japan.

Close-up of the fish sculpture napkin holders.  Since I only have
two, I put two napkins into each and tied them with the fabric
piece that came with them.

Since fishes were the theme, the only Dalmatians to make it
onto my table this time were two sweet little Japanese
blue and white chopstick holders!

Thanks to a conversation my husband and I had while in New Mexico, I am currently obsessed with blue food, but only those that occur naturally.  I used as many as possible for the menu here (blue cheese, blue potatoes, blueberries), but I was unable to find blue cornmeal locally.  These are the only naturally blue foods I could think of, and some skeptics do not consider them truly blue, but for me they were close enough!  Of course I had to include fish as the main dish.  Sesame Green Beans add an Asian touch (use my recipe for Sesame Spinach, substituting 12 oz. cooked slender green beans (haricots verts) for the spinach; allow to sit for at least one hour before serving, or better yet make them the day before).

I had never made mashed blue potatoes before, but the images I found on Google did not look appetizing, so I decided to do a combination of blue and white boiling potatoes, with much more attractive results (a sort of lavender-blue, which may not be so obvious in the photo):

I used my basic recipe for Smashed Potatoes, just doubling the amount of everything to use one 24-oz. bag each of blue/purple potatoes and white boiling potatoes.  In addition to butter and salt, I substituted heavy cream which I had left over from another recipe for the milk (true decadence!) and added about 1/2 cup leftover minced parsley as well.  This variation was especially delicious, as the potatoes had a slightly sweeter flavor than usual, and of course the butter and cream made them quite rich and luscious.

Blue and White Fish Menu:

Small Green Salad/Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue and White Mashed Potatoes
Sesame Green Beans
Fresh Blueberry Cobbler/Vanilla Ice Cream

For a touch of the unexpected, I went with coconut Lindt Lindor truffles in blue-tinged green wrappers for the dark blue candy dish:

This simple blue and white table setting is one of my favorites, and the menu was a fantastic Sunday dinner, the first real meal I prepared since we returned from Santa Fe.  It was almost as good as the food we had while there, and we had some pretty phenomenal fare!

Blue the Dalmatian makes a return appearance to
admire from afar a table set in his namesake color!

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